Last week I had a chance to catch up with Andy Mahre during a film shoot at CMH K2 and the Gothics, and before Andy skis with CMH Heli-Skiing groups at CMH K2 next month. Andy’s father (Steve) and uncle (Phil) took silver and gold medals in the slalom at the 1984 Olympics, so skiing was certainly in Andy’s genes - if he wanted it.
He wanted it. Here’s what the easy-going ski star had to say about this season with CMH Heli-Skiing - and having an Olympic medalist for a dad:
TD: How has it been skiing with CMH so far?
AM: The snow here (CMH K2) has been EPIC! The first few days it was almost too deep. But once it settled and the sun came out it made for some really fun and photogenic runs.
TD: How much of a "soccer dad" was you dad, or did he keep it fun and low pressure?
AM: The only pressure I got from my dad was to make sure I was having fun. If I wasn't having fun, I probably shouldn't be doing it. I was on the local race team growing up and quit to have him as my coach. Crazy enough, there was no friction because I knew that he knew what he was talking about.
TD: Regarding the fun factor for you and other K2 athletes, how does the CMH/K2 relationship compare to the other commitments on your pro calendar?
AM: The CMH/K2 relationship is a very cool deal for us. It's rare to have a connection where you get to heli ski for work and for fun.
TD: I skied the southern Kootenays once (where CMH K2 is located), and was impressed with how almost every meter of the mountains could be skied. What are your thoughts on the snow and terrain of the area?
AM: The mountains are endless. If you want to hit cliffs, there are cliffs. If you want trees, there are trees. Add the open glades and pillows and you have everything you need to have a great time. There are far more runs/lines than you could ski in your lifetime.
TD: How old are you?
AM: 28 years old
TD: What is the biggest change in ski technology and mental approach to skiing in your time as a skier?
AM: My last pair of slalom skis were 180s. Straight and narrow. I now ski a rockered 179 fat ski that has helped push skiing to new heights. Everything is becoming easier, which makes many more things doable. Powder skiing has forever changed.
TD: If you could pick your last ski run, what would it be?
AM: There is no one run in particular that I could choose as a last run. It would however need to have everything. Powder top to bottom. Cliffs, pillows, gaps, trees, you name it.
TD: Sounds like most runs at CMH! Anything else you’d like to add?
AM: Just finished another epic day, and now we are on our way up to the Gothics. Stoked!